Title: Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Author: Lianne Oelke
Page Count: 432 pages
Genre: Contemporary // Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars
Publisher: Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.
Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.
As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.
I have so many things to say about Nice Try, Jane Sinner I have to make sure to keep it concise otherwise you’ll be here for days reading! This was a fresh new read I devoured. I am always on the search for books set in the college timeframe so when Nice Try, Jane Sinner popped up I just had to read it!
The premise is so unique and wonderfully crafted I had a blast reading it. Reading it I couldn’t help but think of Big Brother and the ideas Lianne drew on. If you’re a fan of those shows you’ll really enjoy Jane’s adventure.
I loved experiencing Oelke’s outlook on anxiety and depression. While this is a fun read it also draws on really important themes and topics that many of us can relate to. Reading this book was an eye opener as well. 5/5 stars for Nice Try, Jane Sinner from me! Read on for an excerpt from the Q&A with Lianne Oelke.
Q&A WITH EILEEN COOK
Q: Shows like Big Brother always have certain characteristics or stereotypes in their cast. The nice girl, the jock, the trouble maker, etc. I know I’d be the one that would be too scared to do anything! I’d hide somewhere in a bathroom with books, haha! If you were on a reality TV show similar to the one Jane is in what “personality” do you think you would be cast as?
A: I’d definitely be the quiet one. Either I’d come across as super judgmental and people would vote me off because they wouldn’t know what’s going on inside my head, or I’d play it nice and unthreatening and fly under the radar for as long as I could. I don’t think I’d be bold enough to play pranks on my roommates like Jane does, but I’d still be the one quietly paying attention, watching and waiting. Maybe I’d play the game more like Robbie does– reserved, subtle, and ruthless, with a couple surprises up my sleeve.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lianne lives in Vancouver, BC. A mere three years of working in the film industry has left her far more jaded, bitter, and misanthropic than she could have dreamed possible. Having worked on one too many made-for-TV movies featuring the mild romantic antics of generically attractive white people, she’s taken it upon herself to push back with some pretty substandard stories of her own.
Besides books, her three great passions in life are cats, craft beer, and camping. When she’s not working, Lianne likes to take off, eh in her ‘83 camper van. She maintains a steady hate/ love relationship with hiking, but is always up for exploring British Columbia- whatever it takes to find a nice spot to set up her hammock. Her hammock is her favourite place in the world.